Tomatoes, and beans, and cukes, oh my!

Late August and early September has become one of my favorite times in the last few years. Yes, I’m happy to see my children off to school, but that’s a post for another time. I really enjoy this time because my garden is in full bloom.

Historically, I have not been good with plants. Okay, I’ve been downright awful. People would hesitantly give me houseplants, knowing they would likely never see them again. I am well aware of my black thumb reputation, but I decided a few years ago that gardening would be the perfect challenge for me. I could attempt to learn more about gardening, put it into practice, and try to turn something I was really bad at into something I was good at (or at least marginal).

I went to gardening seminars at the library, I read books on Square Foot Gardening, and I made a plan. I started out with a small 3 foot by 3 foot raised bed garden next to my house so that I was sure to notice each day if it was being neglected. That first year, I grew some lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs. Not bad for my first try – what I did grow was quite tasty and fresh.

Over several years, I built more planting beds, and tried more vegetables. Some worked, and some didn’t. I made it a group project, recruiting my kids to plant seeds, water plants, and harvest vegetables. We tried growing small watermelons one year, but they never got red. We planted a small group of new potatoes, and ended up with a bumper crop. So this year, we planted a whole box of potatoes!

The Cullinan Garden

It’s amazing to me how much vegetables can grow in one day. Each afternoon I check the garden, and new surprises are waiting for me. Eggplants have turned from buds to little shiny purple orbs. Tomatoes have turned from pale yellow to bright red. Long, fat green beans have grown ready to eat seemingly overnight.

Today I noticed that a few vegetables I planted next to each other have decided to grow intertwined with each other. Cherry tomatoes have grown to the left, super saucer tomatoes have grown to the right, and the pole beans in the middle are giving all of the tomatoes a loving hug, holding everything up along the trellis. I could try to separate them, but what’s the point? They seem to be quite happy.

So whether you grow vegetables, or flowers, or just try to keep up with the grass in your yard, enjoy these last weeks of sun and green before the cool colors of fall arrive. And if you are so inclined, intertwine your life with someone else’s (even if it’s just a hug or a show of support). You’ll be so much happier for it.

Thanks for allowing me this diversion. I’m hoping the lessons of my garden find their way into my writing. I’m hoping for a fruitful writing harvest soon!

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